WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), today released the following statement regarding reports that the National People’s Congress will introduce legislation this week to implement Article 23 of the Hong Kong Basic Law, and other concerns about recent steps by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to undermine Hong Kong’s autonomy:
“Reports that the CCP will introduce legislation implementing Article 23 of the Hong Kong Basic Law at this week’s National People’s Congress indicate Beijing will begin an unprecedented assault against Hong Kong’s autonomy. The Basic Law states clearly that the authority to advance Article 23 legislation rests with the executive and legislative branches of the Hong Kong government, and not with Beijing. The Chinese government is once again breaking its promises to the people of Hong Kong and the international community.
“This comes on the heels of a series of other serious blows to Hong Kong’s self-rule in recent weeks, including the advocacy of a law criminalizing disrespect of the national anthem of the People’s Republic of China and pressure on Hong Kong’s legislature that led to the sidelining of pro-democracy legislators.
“The United States will stand resolute in its support of the Hong Kong people. These developments are of grave concern to the United States, and could lead to a significant reassessment on U.S. policy towards Hong Kong.”